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Last post Author Topic: What books are you reading?  (Read 201209 times)

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #525 on: March 13, 2014, 09:49:22 PM »
gren.jpg

Grendel by John Gardener.

This is the Beowulf legend narrated from the monster Grendel's point of view. (Grendel is the ultimate nihilist.)

Utterly brilliant and beautifully styled (see samples below). Highly recommended. :Thmbsup:

Screenshot from 2014-03-13 22:54:52.png     Screenshot from 2014-03-13 22:47:57.png
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 09:58:16 PM by 40hz »

kyrathaba

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #526 on: March 15, 2014, 10:15:36 AM »
I recently read Brian Lumley's "Necroscope". Outstanding!  :Thmbsup:

4wd

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #527 on: March 16, 2014, 12:49:37 AM »
^ One of my favourite series that I reread every couple of years or so, certainly a different, (and more interesting IMHO), take on the vampire mythos.

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #528 on: March 27, 2014, 01:34:53 PM »
Working my way through Mark Minasi's latest 1700-page server opus: Mastering Windows Server 2012 R2

MasteringWinServer2012R2_thumbnail.jpgWhat books are you reading?

1700 pages of solid reading with a much heavier emphasis on the command line and PowerShell scripting this time around. (You'll need to have at least a moderate acquaintance with PowerShell and a general understanding of OUs and GPOs to get the most out of this book.) This is not a good textbook for complete beginners. W2K12-R2 has several curve balls plus some new surprises and 'features.' It's different enough that even people who have been with Windows Server since the NT days will have a lot of info to catch up on (and digest) with this release. And Minasi's book definitely fast tracks you through it.

A very good book for experienced and/or 'pro' readers. Less experienced users, or people completely new to Windows Server, might want to look elsewhere.
 8)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 06:27:01 PM by 40hz »

Target

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #529 on: March 27, 2014, 09:25:04 PM »
I'm a bit surprised this one hasn't gotten a guernsey yet - Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko

IMHO it's a good read and a great resource


panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #530 on: May 09, 2014, 04:01:21 AM »
Christensen - Beatles
Stein - The art of racing in the rain
Bowen - A street cat named Bob
Ayme - The man who walked through walls

mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #531 on: May 09, 2014, 06:14:44 AM »
Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science Paperback - by David Lindley
uncertainty.jpg
Fantastic read but drops the ball a bit at the end.



Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed Paperback - by Dr. Jim Al-Khalili
quantum.jpg
Quite good so far -- tiny bit of history, mostly science.



See also my previous post on one of my favorite books about history of Quantum Physics: "Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality" by Manjit Kumar



Anyone interested in science needs to read about the history of quantum physics -- it's amazing, inspirational stuff.

panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #532 on: May 30, 2014, 05:08:24 AM »
Yancey: Fifth first wave - contact with aliens - good, but not that good
Fools Crow: Tale about an Indian tribe - so-so, good if you like reading about Indian way of life
Faldbakken: The Cocka Hola Company, Macht und rebel, Unfun  -drugs, money, killing babies, sex with children, drinking, anarchy, lies, misanthropy ... - good, but not for those with a bas stomache
Wool - life in a silo in post-apocalyptic America - excellent

wraith808

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #533 on: May 30, 2014, 11:57:16 AM »
Anyone who likes good urban fantasy should look at The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. 

Quote
The Dresden Files are Jim’s first published series, telling the story of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Chicago’s first (and only) Wizard P.I.

The new book Skin Game just came out, and that's what I'm reading right now.

Parkour!

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #534 on: May 30, 2014, 01:19:55 PM »
Lately anything and everything by Charles Stross. Especially good is his short story collection Wireless.

Stross does an occasional alternate history riff using themes from H.P. Lovecraft wedded to Cold War politics. The results are unique and chilling.

Here's some excerpts from the short story A Colder War which is included in the Wireless collection. A CIA analyst is preparing a brief for the Executive Branch that attempts to summarize a Soviet military program that threatens a form of spiritual destruction and suffering far worse than death itself. (If you like it or want to see more, a complete copy of this story can be read online here.)

Quote
The file he is reading frightens him.

Once, when Roger was a young boy, his father took him to an open day at Nellis AFB, out in the California desert. Sunlight glared brilliantly from the polished silverplate flanks of the big bombers, sitting in their concrete-lined dispersal bays behind barriers and blinking radiation monitors. The brightly coloured streamers flying from their pitot tubes lent them a strange, almost festive appearance. But they were sleeping nightmares: once awakened, nobody -- except the flight crew -- could come within a mile of the nuclear-powered bombers and live.

Looking at the gleaming, bulging pods slung under their wingtip pylons, Roger had a premature inkling of the fires that waited within, a frigid terror that echoed the siren wail of the air raid warnings. He'd sucked nervously on his ice cream and gripped his father's hand tightly while the band ripped through a cheerful Sousa march, and only forgot his fear when a flock of Thunderchiefs sliced by overhead and rattled the car windows for miles around.

He has the same feeling now, as an adult reading this intelligence assessment, that he had as a child, watching the nuclear powered bombers sleeping in their concrete beds.

There's a blurry photograph of a concrete box inside the file, snapped from above by a high-flying U-2 during the autumn of '61. Three coffin-shaped lakes, bulking dark and gloomy beneath the arctic sun; a canal heading west, deep in the Soviet heartland, surrounded by warning trefoils and armed guards. Deep waters saturated with calcium salts, concrete coffer-dams lined with gold and lead. A sleeping giant pointed at NATO, more terrifying than any nuclear weapon.

Project Koschei.


Quote
Puzzle Palace

Roger isn't a soldier. He's not much of a patriot, either: he signed up with the CIA after college, in the aftermath of the Church Commission hearings in the early seventies. The Company was out of the assassination business, just a bureaucratic engine rolling out National Security assessments: that's fine by Roger. Only now, five years later, he's no longer able to roll along, casually disengaged, like a car in neutral bowling down a shallow incline towards his retirement, pension and a gold watch. He puts the file down on his desk and, with a shaking hand, pulls an illicit cigarette from the pack he keeps in his drawer. He lights it and leans back for a moment to draw breath, force relaxation, staring at smoke rolling in the air beneath the merciless light until his hand stops shaking.

Most people think spies are afraid of guns, or KGB guards, or barbed wire, but in point of fact the most dangerous thing they face is paper. Papers carry secrets. Papers can carry death warrants. Papers like this one, this folio with its blurry eighteen year old faked missile photographs and estimates of time/survivor curves and pervasive psychosis ratios, can give you nightmares, dragging you awake screaming in the middle of the night. It's one of a series of highly classified pieces of paper that he is summarizing for the eyes of the National Security Council and the President Elect -- if his head of department and the DDCIA approve it -- and here he is, having to calm his nerves with a cigarette before he turns the next page.

After a few minutes, Roger's hand is still. He leaves his cigarette in the eagle-headed ash tray and picks up the intelligence report again. It's a summary, itself the distillation of thousands of pages and hundreds of photographs. It's barely twenty pages long: as of 1963, its date of preparation, the CIA knew very little about Project Koschei. Just the bare skeleton, and rumours from a highly-placed spy. And their own equivalent project, of course. Lacking the Soviet lead in that particular field, the USAF fielded the silver-plated white elephants of the NB-39 project: twelve atomic-powered bombers armed with XK-PLUTO, ready to tackle Project Koschei should the Soviets show signs of unsealing the bunker. Three hundred megatons of H-bombs pointed at a single target, and nobody was certain it would be enough to do the job.

And then there was the hard-to-conceal fiasco in Antarctica. Egg on face: a subterranean nuclear test program in international territory! If nothing else, it had been enough to stop JFK running for a second term. The test program was a bad excuse: but it was far better than confessing what had really happened to the 501st Airborne Division on the cold plateau beyond Mount Erebus. The plateau that the public didn't know about, that didn't show up on the maps issued by the geological survey departments of those governments party to the Dresden Agreement of 1931 -- an arrangement that even Hitler had stuck to. The plateau that had swallowed more U-2 spy planes than the Soviet Union, more surface expeditions than darkest Africa.


Stross! The man. :Thmbsup:

kyrathaba

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #535 on: May 30, 2014, 10:04:55 PM »
An Intro to GCC Compilers, by Brian Gough

kyrathaba

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #536 on: May 31, 2014, 09:17:24 PM »
Prof. Rob Miles' "C# Yellow Book"
« Last Edit: June 01, 2014, 05:59:17 PM by kyrathaba »

MilesAhead

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #537 on: July 21, 2014, 01:52:12 PM »
Quote
Stross! The man

I just finished GlassHouse.

From the perspective of the civilization wherein resides the main character, we are living in The Dark Ages(tm.)  I won't say more to avoid spoiling the surprises.  Although I must say if gender shifting or role reversal weirds you out don't bail on the novel.  It's handled in such a way that it doesn't feel creepy.

I have a feeling the next few Sci Fi novels I read will be by this author.  :)

ewemoa

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #538 on: August 13, 2014, 06:35:08 PM »
Although I'm a bit concerned about the future of the Ketai library, am reading Rapid Android Development:

rad-cover.pngWhat books are you reading?

blurb from the aforementioned linked page:

Quote
Create mobile apps for Android phones and tablets faster and more easily than you ever imagined. Use “Processing,” the free, award-winning, graphics-savvy language and development environment, to work with the touchscreens, hardware sensors, cameras, network transceivers, and other devices and software in the latest Android phones and tablets.

MilesAhead

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #539 on: August 14, 2014, 08:16:14 AM »
I'm nearly finished with Accelerando

Quote
The Singularity. It is the era of the posthuman. Artificial intelligences have surpassed the limits of human intellect. Biotechnological beings have rendered people all but extinct. Molecular nanotechnology runs rampant, replicating and reprogramming at will. Contact with extraterrestrial life grows more imminent with each new day.

The blurb makes it sound like Terminator: Man vs Machine.  But it's an amusing tale of the transition of humans from merely "meat brained" to augmented integration with technology.  Fun reading.  :)

Ullie

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #540 on: August 14, 2014, 11:49:30 AM »
I'm just reading the HarryPotter series  :-* - its nicer than the movies!

mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #541 on: August 14, 2014, 12:26:17 PM »
"Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts" by Stanislas Dehaene.
Just started it, but so far so good.  Looks like a good book to recommend to people who want a more scientific, less fuzzy, take on consciousness.

Screenshot - 8_14_2014 , 12_25_58 PM.png



Having finished this book, I can highly recommend it to anyone interested in the science of consciousness.  It is free of hand-waving and silliness, and is focused on empirical observations rather than philosophical convolution.

You won't find too much computational discussion in the book, and Dehaena's Global Workspace theory is a bit light on details, but I do think it's a step in the right direction, which captures a core piece of what consciousness is.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 03:58:45 PM by mouser »

MerleOne

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #542 on: November 10, 2014, 03:09:12 PM »
Hi all,
I am asking for your help : I am looking for a short Sci-Fi story rather old, where an explorer, suffering from asthma, is captured by an advanced tribe somewhere deep withing a forest or some far away land.  They offer him a cure for asthma, as well as lots of food and nice treatments.  He finally realizes that they are cannibals and intend to eat hime to get his intelligence.  He barely escapes but destroys the device for curing asthma in the process.
It's somewhere in my paper library but since it's a short story, it's rather hard to find and I have not managed to find the right keywords in Google to pinpoint it.
If this rings a bell, that would be great !  Thanks.
.merle1.

MilesAhead

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #543 on: November 11, 2014, 02:32:45 PM »
Continuing with Charles Stross I'm half way through Saturn's Children.  Straightforward fun scifi.  Not much in the way of philosophy. A pleasant read.

I had to quit The Family Trade half way through because it was just too targeted at women.  A Cinderella Story described as such in the novel itself.  If I had used up all the rest of Stross I could suffer through.  So I'll put it to the end of the queue.



mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #544 on: November 11, 2014, 03:29:21 PM »
Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field: How Two Men Revolutionized Physics Hardcover – by Nancy Forbes
Screenshot - 11_11_2014 , 3_28_31 PM.png

Finished it last week; quite good.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #545 on: November 11, 2014, 06:14:22 PM »
(Numbering might change in the future!)        : )
I'm starting to get back into my old Buddhist training.
Round 1A1's set is Zen.

1A1 - a: Book of Serenity - (The slightly less well known of the two famous collections) ... because on day 1 of my new beginner multicultural meditation class our teacher tossed out #9 Nanquan's cat. I both missed it having not read that tome, and missed any remotely interesting answer because of 20 years of rust!
:tellme:

But back in the day, in my good job, I built a pretty good private library (including Buddhism), so I found it pretty fast - I figured:
"Okay, I have two tomes of the famous koans. Either he picked one of those, and since I only glanced at a few out of 200, sure he could have found one I hadn't seen. Or, he could have found an ultra obscure one, at which point I get to ask him why that one?" But yes/no, it was there - Nanquan's Cat, Book of Serenity #9.

1A1 - b: Blue Cliff Record - The "slightly more well known of the two collections".

1A1 - c: Compass of Zen by Seung Sahn. A "more modern" take on the overlap of Indian classical Buddhism and zen, but with a few modern teachings that clarify some sticky points.

More sets to come later!


bit

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #546 on: November 11, 2014, 07:25:06 PM »
Countdown to Zero Day
The Inside Story of How Stuxnet Was Discovered.
I haven't read it yet, as it just came out today and I'm going to wait for the price to drop a little more, but seems like a fascinating read, and the Amazon link where it's #1 in two categories and #2 in another, includes a recommendation by Kevin Mitnik.

Update: excerpt 'adapted from the ^book'; please go here:
quote: "Son of Stuxnet - The Digital Hunt for Duqu"; "This wasn’t a simple hack anymore; it looked like it might be a nation-state attack with national-security implications."
« Last Edit: November 13, 2014, 04:43:06 PM by bit »

erikts

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #547 on: December 05, 2014, 05:31:55 AM »
I am about to read "Charisma +1: The Guide to Convention Etiquette for Gamers, Geeks & the Socially Awkward" by Jessica Brawner.

Quote
In D&D there are certain attributes you start with, just as in life there are certain things you’re born with: Strength, Will, Charisma, Wisdom, Intelligence and Constitution. Whether you’re a veteran convention attendee, a con-virgin, a volunteer, vendor or a guest, everyone can use a bump in their life stats.

Do you know what the 6-2-1 rule is? What do Barbarians and cell phones have to do with hygiene? Do you know when it’s okay to take a photograph? How do you flirt with that cute girl or guy across the room? Who are Booth Babes really?

charisma.jpg

MerleOne

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #548 on: December 05, 2014, 05:40:34 AM »
I am just finished a moving novel, in French, "L'amour et les forêts", "Love and forests", from Eric Reinhard, a story of a woman who suffers a lot from her husband who is beyond selfishness.  To escape her inbearable daily life, she has a one day affair with a stranger met online, she is forced to confess this to her husband and he will make her pay in many cruel ways.  It's a story about love, resignation, rebellion.  Based upon the true story of several women met by the writer blended into one character. Superb but dark.
.merle1.

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #549 on: December 05, 2014, 08:10:34 AM »
Sandman Slim: A Novel by Richard Kadrey.

sms.png

First book in a series. Quite funny - in a real bad-attitude way. Not my usual thing. But sometimes we can all use a break from the heavy metaphysics we get for our daily fare. If you're a fan of John Butcher's Dresden Files you'll feel right at home here. It's an enjoyable straight-ahead action story with some surprises and great characters. Some of the best 'snappy' dialog I've read in a long time too. Recommended. :Thmbsup: